After virtually a lifetime of service to his hometown — which included service to his coutry as well — Porterville Police Chief Eric Kroutil has decided to retire.

Porterville City Manager John Lollis said on Monday Kroutil has decided to retire. His effective retirement date will be July 16, Lollis said.

The City of Porterville posted the job opening for a new police chief and began accepting applications for the position on Friday. Kroutil was unavailable for comment on Monday.

Kroutil, a 1983 Monache graduate, is retiring after 30 years of service with the Porterville Police Department. He has served more than six years as chief of police after being named as the city's 17th police chief in February, 2015.

As city manager it was Lollis who hired Kroutil and he will have the authority to hire the next police chief as well. At the time he hired Kroutil, Lollis said he was looking for someone of high ethical character. “The candidate I selected is worthy of that,” said Lollis at the time.

Lollis said there will be “community and technical” support in selecting the new police chief before he makes the final decision on who he will hire.

Lollis added Kroutil has been an effective face of the police department and the community and has been engaged in the community. When he was hired as police chief, Kroutil said one of his goals was to be more involved in the community.

Lollis also said Kroutil has made a positive impact on the police department when it comes areas such as community policing and giving the tools police officers need.

“Those have always been the traits of the department,” said Lollis about what Kroutil has been able to carry on and of course the next police chief will be expected to continue on those traits of the department, Lollis said.

Kroutil was born in Bakersfield and his family moved to Porterville when he was 11-years-old. After high school he enlisted in the United States Navy, where he served for six years. He returned to Porterville in 1991 and enrolled in the police academy.

In November of 1992, Kroutil was hired as a reserve police officer by the Porterville Police Department and in August 1993, was promoted to a full-time police officer. Kroutil served in almost every capacity in the department, including patrol, investigations and administration and served on the department’s Special Weapons and Tactics Team for many years as an operator, a team leader, and the team commander.

In 1999, Kroutil was promoted to sergeant and in 2002, to lieutenant. Kroutil was promoted to captain in 2006. As captain he was also the division commander for the Investigations Division before eventually becoming the police chief..

When Kroutil was hired by the PPD in 1992, he had only been married to his wife Kellie less than two months. At the time of his hiring as police chief, Kroutil said his family support was a key for him throughout his career.

When he applied for police chief, Kroutil said he did so because “I felt the responsibility to this community and the responsibility to this department and I could help lead them in the great work of the department.”

When accepting the position he said: “There is absolutely no doubt about it; I am here because of the people.”

The beginning annual base salary for the Porterville Police Chief is $116,076.

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